Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

my first video poem- Dear Sam Heughan August 4, 2013

Filed under: OUTLANDERishness,Poetry,video — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:14 am
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It took a whole lot longer than I expected, but I managed to record a video, despite the objections of the dogs, the fact that apparently there is not enough light in my house to film a video at midnight for some reason, and the fact that YouTube no longer believes I am who I am, so I had to make a new channel!

I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, so I’m feeling quite accomplished!  Today we were at a wedding, and I’m still a gilded lily, so what better time, right?

Since the most popular poem on my blog (by a LONG shot) is Dear Sam Heughan that is where I began. (If you haven’t read it you may want to.  The Twitter debate at the end is entertaining).  Anyway, here I am, in all my animated splendour!  

Oh- sorry about the hair flipping.  I didn’t realise I do that quite so much! 😉  I’ll try to tone that down next time.

Also- YouTube offered me three options of mutated zombie type versions of myself for the thumbnail you see below.  I apologize that you have to see this.  Rest assured, the other two were worse.

Addendum: Diana Gabaldon made me feel like the most honoured person on the planet when amid a fire storm of the bizarre she dedicated her Daily Lines to me on August 5th.  I read those hashtags and positively GLOW!

 

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Poem- Dear Sam Heughan July 31, 2013

As previously posted, Sam Heughan has been cast to play the character of Jamie Fraser in Ron Moore’s TV series Outlander based on the book series by Diana Gabaldon.  Here is a bit of friendly advice for him.

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Dear Sam

I am

afraid that the Jamie-philes

will compile more

scary photo-shopped dreams.

It seems that in face of

the depraved 

you are as brave

as your homeland.

So lad,

be glad

of this career boost

But go canny, aye?

They’ll grab that manly thigh

and try to catch your eye,

tear kilt askew

aim for the dagger hilt of you,

and hurdle for the spurtle, too!

Are you up for the ride?

For jokes aside,

Jamie is seriously adored,

these books explored

they touch a chord

with inflamed hordes of fans.

They’ll give you fame

but give them James

Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser

Give them frenzied pleasure.

Be the man the fans adore

and they’ll be yours forever more,

those fanatical fannying fans galore.

Thanks Sam.

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Sincerely,

Fan.

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A little advice for actor Sam Heughan as the devoted fans of Outlander take over his life (and his Twitter feed)

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August 1. 2013 Note:

This poem was the subject of much hilarity and edification on the Twitter feed when it was posted at about 2 a.m. July 31st.  The line following, “Go canny, aye” was originally about a fan reaching for ‘fanny and thigh.’  Diana Gabaldon tweeted almost immediately to let me know that fanny didn’t mean the same thing in UK as it does in North America, specifically that ‘men don’t have one.’ Then the Scots started posting about their amusement of American usage of the term i.e. falling on your fanny is difficult.  I was sent photos of the beverage called Fanny, which confused me a great deal, because if fanny means vagina, why would you name a carbonated beverage that? (answer: “Scots humour”).  Diana also added that there is the term “fannying around” and that was explained to me by various eager tutors as meaning being silly or goofing off (rather than whoring, which might be the more logical assumption).  So obviously I had to alter a few lines of the poem.  Forgetting that the key was rhyming ‘canny, aye?’ (likely due to the posting of Diana’s infamous Jamie butt pumpkin that evening as well) most tried to think of euphemisms for bum.  This was not helpful at all, but was highly entertaining.  With a few keystrokes, the fanny and thighs became ‘manly thighs’ and the ‘fannying fans’ were added to reflect my new knowledge.   By about 5 a.m. Heulighans from the American Eastern seaboard were waking up, and the responses to the Twitter conversation and the poem went wild.   I update this to honour a wonderful night of giggling over the keyboard with Diana and my fellow fans of her work around the globe.

This post received a remarkable number of visitors- over 450 in the day with many, many lovely comments left for me on Twitter and Facebook.  I thank you all.  I consider myself thoroughly educated and well entertained as well.

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If that wasn’t enough awesomeness,

Diana dedicated her August 5th Daily Lines to ME!

(see Shawn swooning in astonishment)   Read those hashtags:

 #ThisOnesForShawnLBird  

#poetess 

 That’s pretty fantastic support for anyone, don’t you think?  She saw some craziness happening, and this was her response.  I am so glad to know her, to have her support, and to learn how to handle social media hysteria by following her example. “The words get into their heads and drive them mad.”  Yup.  Glad I have friends in high places!  With Diana on my side, I feel almost invincible.

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And now this poem is the subject of my very first poem video!  Click to see and hear it! 🙂

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the fundamental fiction July 13, 2013

In love with a fictional character?

Honey.

Don’t you know that

ALL

objects of our desire

are fundamentally fictional?

Courtship

is a time of great performance,

convincing the other,

showing the best face,

doing things you’ve never done

(and won’t do again)

pretending you love each moment

to impress the object of your desire.

Love is always

fictional.

We love what we wish

it to be.

If we’re lucky,

when rose lenses are lost,

what we created in dream

bears enough

resemblance to reality

that truth

becomes better

than fiction.

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In response to a Tweet about all the wild Outlander fans in a tizzy about Jamie Fraser coming to life.  I was thinking how we fictionalize real people all the time.

 

living a dream with Diana Gabaldon July 12, 2013

Sam Heughan Headshot - P 2013

Sam Heughan is already charming Outlander fans and schmoozing with them via Twitter. Things are only going to get better from here for this youthful tri-athlete actor!

For the last week, I have had the privilege of being a fly on the wall as an author has a dream come true.  The Starz network signed Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series last spring, and has finally begun casting.  This week her lead character, Jamie Fraser, was cast, and the role went to Scots actor Sam Heughan.

With typical enthusiasm Diana shared her excitement  over his audition tape with her Facebook followers:

She observed how she started watching the audition tape, “and five seconds later, Sam Heughan’s GONE, and so am I.  It’s Jamie Fraser, right there in front of me, moving, talking.  One of the biggest thrills ever.”

Talk about understatement!

Of course, not everyone is able to visualize Diana’s quite explicit descriptions of what Jamie looked like at age 22 in the first Outlander book, and those people leapt up complaining about Sam’s physique, his hair, etc.  Diana firmly and unequivocally put them in their place.  (A hilarious blog about the whole storm  on Thatsnormal.com if you want the details)

Meanwhile, Diana took to Twitter and started messaging Sam Heughan (like many in the Outlander world!) Sam is embracing the enthusiasm of his army of new fans and he and Diana are carrying on a public flirtation for the whole world to see.

I am so thrilled for her.  I suppose this is how Stephenie Meyer felt when Rob Pattison was cast to become Edward in the Twilight movies.  Bad makeup and a low budget probably couldn’t kill her buzz either.  I’m sure when Charlaine Harris first saw Anna Pasquin bring Sookie Stackhouse to life she was equally thrilled (Sookie be damned, how about the perfect choice of Joe Manganiello to be  Alcide Herveault?! Be still my heart!).  Both Twilight and the Sookie Stackhouse series took some serious deviations from the original plots.  No matter.  How amazing must have been those first halcyon days when the incarnate word was made flesh!

Starz has a budget and a social media savvy author who is sharing her excitement with a legion of fans.  The buzz is amazing.  On one hand, I feel very sorry for all the companies over the years that optioned the rights to make a movie or TV series out of this story and then had them lapse before funding could be put together.  Foolish money men.  You will see what you missed!  On the other hand, I think Tall Ship Productions and Ron Moore are going to do Diana’s work proud.  They know very well that rabid fans are going to be unforgiving if they screw up Diana’s story!

The absolutely best part of this, what has me grinning constantly and bouncing around my house, has been the fun of watching Diana in the absolutely giddy excitement of seeing her character come to life.  I can hardly wait until she gets to go on set and meet all the cast!

Some day, perhaps, I’ll get to see my Grace, Ben, Marco, and Alex become flesh.  In the meantime, I’m living vicariously through Diana, and I’m enjoying every minute!

Diana on Sams audition

 

that bloody Scot November 4, 2011

Filed under: Commentary,OUTLANDERishness,Reading — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:08 pm
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I’ve been reading through the Outlander books in the last month or so. As a result, I’ve been exploring fan sites and such, pondering the romantic attraction of Jamie Fraser, since he does seem to have a lot of ladies all over the world in quite a tizzy.

I’ve written some ideas down already, but another one just occured to me. Here is a rare man- a manly man of the purest order, a man with so much testosterone that he is noticed everywhere he goes, is bitterly hated, lusted after. etc, but when he comes home to his woman, wounded from the fight and sorrowful over the hard responsibilities of having to kill or maim to keep his people safe, he talks about his feelings.

Oh yes. Women aren’t impressed so much by all that killing and cunning stuff, but they adore a man who can talk about his feelings.  Jamie is astute, he knows about his own feelings, he understands Claire’s feelings, and when he doesn’t, he asks her about them, and he listens.  He talks about the mushy stuff, he isn’t afraid to admit his weaknesses, he listens and he understands.  Wow.  Now THAT’s a man.  He doesn’t sound much like an 18th century man, does he?  or a 21st century one, either for that matter.  Women can only dream of finding a man like that.

Particularly one wearing a kilt.

 

what is vs what could be October 20, 2011

In the acknowledgements at the beginning of Drums of Autumn, Diana Gabaldon observes that her husband says, “I don’t know how you keep getting away with this.  You don’t know anything about men.”  That made me laugh out loud.

Gabaldon might not really know men (though I think she captures them very well, myself), but she definitely understands what women WANT their men to be!  Strong and tender, proud and humble, wounded and capable, physically arresting and self-effacing, full of  desire and faithfully devoted, a gentleman and a serf.  Her main character, Jamie Fraser, may not actually exist, but he is the complex bundle of contradictions that women desire.

This should be a consolation to the men: Jamie’s weaknesses are at the root of his strengths, and he is adored for them.

 

 
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